The most widely used devices for measuring firmness of fresh whole fruit depend on destructive techniques which contribute to fruit losses and other limitations including inaccuracy due to low sampling points, and low portability which limits firmness assessment within laboratory setting.
The fresh produce industry indicates that an accurate, non-destructive, and portable firmness measurement device is a priority for the fruit industry in order to improve fruit development on the orchard and decision-making along the supply chain.
The research institute has developed a firmness measurement device based on the impact response principle. It measures the acceleration forces that occur during impact of a small mass on the fruit surface to determine the firmness of an item. The firmness measurement device is a hand held instrument that non-destructively and non-invasively measures the firmness of fruit. The device is portable and light weight so it can be used in the field, postharvest, glasshouse, or anywhere along the supply chain. Measurements are wirelessly recorded or downloaded onto a computer for ease of documenting, recording measurements, and decision making.
Measuring the firmness of soft fruits is a very broad market application (kiwifruits, cherries, summer fruit, tomato, and berries). The device is portable and light weight so can be used in the field, in-transit, post-harvest, and glasshouse. Applications outside soft fruits are also possible (meat, rubber, and cement). Modifications to the device and recalibrations may be required for each specific market application.
Fruit firmness device market is estimated to reach NZD 150 million by 2026, with a CAGR of 4.35%. The global non-destructive testing market for non-fruit use is estimated to be USD 13.5 billion with CAGR of 6.2%. Rising manufacturing activities in developing and developed nations is one of the key trends stimulating market growth.